as Laurel Parker
as James Parker
Critic Reviews for Blessed
Unforgiving in its shrewd relentlessness, the cast is flawless as is the direction.
Some fine talent manages to rise above flimsy scenarios in this multi-thread expose of low-rent Melbourne mothering and its bitter legacy. Surely the whole truth would call for some rays of light in these shabby lives?
A tad bloated and uncompromisingly bleak, Blessed is buoyed by its impressive ensemble cast.
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Blessed is uneven and overall not as good as Kokkinos's other films but it nevertheless contains some of her best work to date.
Audience Reviews for Blessed
A few outstanding moments. Like "best film ever" kind of moments (the solo porn shoot, Miranda Otto dancing in her new dress, every scene with the two girls, most of what Frances O'Connor does). But it's held back by misplaced cliches and a few iffy performances. It's frustrating. Seriously though, Eamon Farren is so amazing in this and he pretty much only gets one real scene. And this scene is one of the best things ever put on film. I wish there was more of it.
Should you see this achingly performed, firmly directed Australian drama about mothers and their offspring experiencing 24 hours of, largely, bad stuff? Yes, if your tolerance for sombre, sobering close-to-the-bone local cinema hasn't fractured. No, if you're just going to give it all that about how the interweaving, multi-character observation can be simplistically gambling, substance abuse, racism and homelessness. Seeing events first from the children's perspective, before getting the maternal view. Based on the play Who's Afraid of the Working Class?, the stage origins are invisible. It's a fine script, director Ann Kokkinos is a master storyteller, and the performances are phenomenal. Deborra-Lee Furness brings her steady inner energy to her motherly role, Miranda Otto lives inside her character's head, and the young members of the cast all hold their own. It's unfair to play favourites, but Frances O'Connor's Rhonda - the runaway siblings' mother - is exceptional. At first look, the pregnant, smoking, tattooed Rhonda is a cliche, but O'Connor quickly makes her real.
Well, it's hard to find anything blessed about the lives in this Australian drama. The writers have woven a whole bunch of stories together from children and mothers viewpoints and every one of those stories is adding to the hard and dark atmosphere of the movie. Social study which is depressing but truethful... Very good acting and the directing improved in the second part of the film... Typical Aussie movie!
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